The city of Hyderabad alone has reported close to 2,000 cases of COVID-19. The numbers, however, are only an estimate with the Telangana government releasing data in small spurts. The ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government has not released the total figure for the capital city for over a month now.
The last time that the total number of COVID-19 cases for Hyderabad was announced was on April 28, when Telangana Health Minister Eatala Rajender said that the total was 559.
Since then, officials of the Directorate of Public Health and Family Welfare in Telangana have only been releasing the daily breakdown of cases reported under the jurisdiction of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC). The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases or the number of active cases for Hyderabad has not been mentioned for several weeks now.
On some days, the gaps in bulletins become wider, with a district-wise breakdown missing.
TNM went through the daily bulletins from April 28 onwards and found that at least 1,862 out of the 3147 total cases in Telangana, are local cases reported from the GHMC area. But this number may be an underestimate as officials did not provide a district-wise breakdown of daily cases on April 29, April 30, May 5, May 8, May 27 and May 28.
Meanwhile, in the first four days of June alone, there has been a spike reported in the GHMC area, with 367 COVID-19 cases.
A large number of cases have also been reported in the districts of Rangareddy and Medchal-Malkajgiri, which cover large parts of Cyberabad and Secunderabad, with some areas falling out of the GHMC's jurisdiction but within Hyderabad's Outer Ring Road (ORR).
The ruling TRS has already been criticised for its lack of transparency in the handling of the COVID-19 crisis, from the state government's reluctance to declare its testing figures, to its lack of information in its daily bulletins. The issue has been raised by opposition parties in the state and highlighted by the High Court as well.
While the official COVID-19 website of the government and the Health Department websites earlier provided details on the total tests conducted and gave a district-wise breakdown of cases, that too has stopped.
Meanwhile, the death toll due to COVID-19 in Telangana crossed 100 with six more succumbing to the coronavirus, in a 24-hour period ending at 5pm on Thursday.
The state has been witnessing a surge in both fatalities and new positive cases for nearly three weeks. On Thursday, 127 people tested positive for the coronavirus, pushing the total tally in Telangana to 3,147.
The tally includes 448 migrants, deportees and foreign returnees. However, all the cases reported during the last 24 hours were local residents of the state, including 110 from Hyderabad.
At present, with 1,587 people discharged, the number of active cases in Telangana stands at 1,455.
Meanwhile, the Telangana government is all set to re-open malls, hotels and places of worship from June 8 in line with the Centre's guidelines.